It may have been a while since you reviewed your platform, it is important that you do this on a regular basis of at least 3 years. Your platform may have been new and shiny when you bought it years ago, but probably not anymore. This is only one of many reasons why people choose to completely change their eCommerce platform. Saying this, re-platforming is an incredibly daunting task. If not done with care, it can be damaging to your business, especially if you use it as a reactive tool.
If you take anything away from this blog, it should be to identify your business goals and stick to them like cement. If your chosen eCommerce site cannot achieve them over a 5 to 7-year span, don’t use it.
Competition nowadays is in abundance. Your platform needs to work at top capacity to keep your business afloat in an era of never-ending choices. This choice has made shoppers impatient and hyperconnected if your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load they will click off.
Not only does your site have to be fast but it also needs to handle high traffic days whilst maintain speed and quality. Peaks like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are dreaded by IT teams across the globe. If their site is not available for, say, 3 hours on one of those days, it could result in 60% business loss.
Once you have figured out your reasons for re-platforming, you must then consider what type of server would be best to reach your goals. There are three different types; On-premise, Cloud Server and Cloud Hosted. Each has pros and cons of use, with On-premise having been the traditional method for the last few years. You must consider if the server is agile, non-scalable and then the cost of deploying it (on top of owning the eCommerce site). Nowadays most will recommend a cloud-based server, simply because they are easier to manage and have far more benefits than on-premise.
A handy tactic to use is to conduct a total cost of ownership model. TCO is a financial estimate that helps you determine the direct and indirect costs of a product or system. TCO goes beyond the initial purchase price or implementation cost to consider the full cost of an asset over its useful life. It’s analysis often shows a large difference between the price of something and its long-term cost.
You may also want to investigate doing a return on investment (ROI) calculation. ROI is the ratio of profit or loss made on investment and shown as a percentage of increase or decrease in the value of the investment. You should collect all cost implementations for the project, then consider the future costs and returns over a 3-5year period.
Any benefit could be part of an ROI analysis, including intangible or soft-dollar benefits. Others can involve increased sales across multiple channels, cost savings, reduced reliance on a developer or IT resources etc.
When looking for your new platform, reviews from previous clients are a great resource to see if they are any good. However, be aware that not all business is the same. One platform that is great for your competitor may be detrimental for you. Set your own realistic expectations based on knowledge of your business and explore how the vendor will support you in achieving them.
For a more in-depth analysis on why, and how people re-platform, download our whitepaper; Your Re-platforming Journey. Not only are there case studies and statistics on re-platforming, but we also present you with specific questions you should be asking to make sure you pick the perfect eCommerce platform for your online business.